How to plan a cremation

28 June 2023

Planning a cremation can be challenging. Whether you’re planning ahead for yourself, or for a recently departed loved one, you want to ensure the process is smooth, respectful, and stress-free during a difficult time.

At Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust we’ve helped thousands of families through the process of planning a cremation, and can offer these four pieces of advice from our experience.

Choose a certified cremation service provider

One of the most important decisions you will make when planning a cremation is choosing a provider. It is important to choose a certified cremation service provider that you trust. Look for a provider that is licensed, insured, and has a good reputation in the community.

Choosing a reputable provider can give you peace of mind and help ensure that the cremation is carried out with care and respect. Make sure you check for the provider’s cremation certificate here.

Consider cremation memorial service options

A cremation can be incorporated into a traditional funeral service, or it can be conducted independently before or after a memorial service.

These services can be as traditional or unique as you like, and can be held in a place of worship, a funeral home, a memorial park like Bunurong or Springvale, or in another venue entirely, like a pub, hall, or private home.

No matter where you choose to hold a service or what it looks like, it can be a chance to gather with family and friends to share memories and pay tribute to the person who has passed away. You can also incorporate personal touches, such as displaying photos or playing their favourite music.

Know what to expect at the cremation

It is important to have a clear understanding of what to expect during the cremation process. Your cremation service provider should be able to walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have.

Typically, the deceased is prepared for cremation and then placed in a special cremation chamber. After the process is complete, the ashes are placed in a container or urn.

SMCT has viewing rooms available for friends and family who wish to gather to farewell their loved one before the cremation takes place.

Consider what to do with cremated remains

After the cremation, you will receive the ashes in a container or urn. There are many options for what to do with the remains, and it is important to consider what feels right for you and your family.

Some people choose to keep the ashes in an urn at home, while others scatter them in a meaningful location.

If you opt to keep the ashes at home, choosing the right urn for you is important. There are a variety of options available, including biodegradable urns, keepsake urns, and traditional urns made of materials such as ceramic or metal.

If you choose to scatter your loved one’s ashes, many families opt for a meaningful location, such as a favourite park, beach, or garden. Whichever you choose, it’s important to make sure that scattering is permitted in the location you have chosen, and to consider any environmental impacts. SMCT’s memorial parks have scatter gardens available where these factors have been taken into account and you can scatter ashes with peace of mind.

You can also choose to inter the ashes in a cemetery or memorial. Your cremation service provider can provide guidance on these options and any associated costs.

In summary, when planning a cremation, it is important to choose a certified provider, consider memorial service ideas, know what to expect during the cremation process, and consider what to do with the remains.

Keeping these things in mind can help ensure that the process is handled with care and respect, and that you are able to honour and celebrate the life of your loved one in a meaningful way.

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